Beyonce has honoured the victims of the failed military coup in Turkey by dedicating a song to them while performing in the Netherlands.
Beyonce is currently in the midst of her Formation World Tour, and after hearing of the unrest in Turkey in the early hours of Saturday, she decided to pay tribute to the lives lost at her show in Amsterdam that night.
“This song is about love,” she told fans as she introduced her hit Halo. “I want to dedicate it to all the lives lost in Turkey. Y’all help me sing tonight.”
At least 265 people died in the coup, while over 1,400 others were injured in cities like Ankara and Istanbul as military forces and rebels tried to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Beyonce, who has become a leading light in the Black Lives Matter movement, has become increasingly political of late.
Earlier this year, she sparked controversy when she released her track Formation and then performed it at the Super Bowl. Critics argued that the song’s accompanying music video featured a clear anti-police message, while her appearance at the Super Bowl Half-Time show was a salute to the Black Panthers movement – a revolutionary black nationalist organisation which tackled police corruption and brutality in the 1960s and 1970s.
Following her performance, many police unions in Miami and Tampa, Florida and Tennessee launched boycotts against Beyonce, and called on her to apologise. Law enforcement supporters also threatened to protest over the perceived message, but the 34-year-old hit back at the controversy, insisting the song aimed to simply highlight police brutality issues, which had raised racial tensions across the U.S.
“I mean, I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood,” she told Elle magazine of the backlash. “But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken.”
Beyonce has also recently used her platform to call for calm after five police officers were murdered by a sniper in Dallas, Texas during a Black Lives Matter march, which was held to protest the deaths of two African-American men who were shot and killed by cops in separate incidents in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this month (Jul16).
She also joined forces with fellow singer Alicia Keys to appear in a new racial justice public service announcement in light of the latest African-American deaths at the hands of authorities, and just last week paid tribute to the victims of the French terrorist attacks that took place in Nice on Bastille Day.
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